Norton Motorcycles 1950s

Today in Motorcycle History

Norton Manx 40M 350cc 1949

Bare Nekkid Double Knocker Manx Beauty

This machine has the frame from a 1949 Manx M40 which was sold by Harold Daniel (UK Norton dealer) to Mr Briggs who rode it at the Isle of Man and was placed sixth.

After it was brought to New Zealand its motor graced a Jim Swarbrick machine which spent time in Kevin Grant’s New Zealand collection. Swarbrick was a Christchurch motorcycle racer known as 'the flying milkman' and a member of the NZ team at the Isle of Man which won the Junior TT Club Team Prize in 1950 and competed in the Continental Circus that year. He raced in Canterbury from 1939 until 1958 and won the NZ Senior Grand Prix three times.

It is thought that the engine in this machine is from 1950; it was used by the previous owner in a swing-arm frame that he built up himself and raced in various South Island events for many years. More recently, he decided to return the engine to the frame which housed it when first he acquired it but he shuffled off this mortal coil before that eventuated.

Nelson NZ Classic Motorcycles purchased it in November of 2013 and it arrived sans petrol tank. Subsequently it moved to Invercargill, Bert Munro's home town, and became part of the Motorcycle Mecca collection in May 2016.

Images - see 1949 Norton Gallery

Further Reading: Circus Life by Don Cox

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